Sunday, February 25, 2007

And The Winner Is

Ms. New Beauty normally doesn't watch award shows. She normally doesn't even watch the red carpet. The only thing she cares about is what the stars are wearing, and that is so much easier to just look up on the internet. But, since none other than Andre Leon Talley was taking part in the awards by hosting the Academy Awards red carpet pre-show, MNB just had to tune in and watch the arrivals. Oh, she had her heart set on someone showing up dressed like a rainbow or a shrub, but she was actually pleasantly surprised. The stars came out tonight in beautiful dresses, dripping in jewels, and with their hair and makeup expertly done. But, while Ms. New Beauty liked almost everything she saw, there were a few missteps and disappointments. And of course, we start with the worst first, because watching people make mistakes is so much more interesting than watching them get it right.

Worst Dresses

Cameron Diaz in Valentino

Cammy, Cammy, Cammy. Why? We know that your breakup with JT is hitting you hard. But the way that you deal with that is not by trying to show him what you would have looked like as a bride had he actually proposed. Please go back to that funny, irreverant, stylish girl we've all grown to love.

Kirsten Dunst in Chanel

Ugh. This dress just looks like bedrobe meets flapper meets Miss Hannigan from Annie. And, the hair is just too undone, like the way you pull your hair back yourself after a day at the beach.

Anne Hathaway in Valentino

Pretty girl, but that big bow just does nothing for this dress or her figure. She looks like she has the shape of a cracker, just straight and boxy, no waist whatsoever. And, since I'm sure she's probably 5 foot 8 and weighs only 105 pounds, it's pretty hard to mess up her figure. But this dress has done it. I did however like all the different bracelets she stacked on, just not with this dress.

Worst Hair

Jennifer Lopez in Marchesa

The Marchesa gown is gorgeous. A little heavy on the rocks, but who else can pull that off but Jenny from the Block? The makeup is flawless. But the hair? The hair is curled way too tight and makes La Lopez look just a little matronly. And, Ken Paves was her stylist for the awards. Now that you know that, can't you just almost see one the tracks from his clip in extensions?

Not Quite Feeling It

Beyonce in Armani

Well, this dress is a huge step-up from that glittering Elie Saab number she wore at the Globes, so Beyonce deserves a round of applause for that fact alone. But, something about this dress just doesn't quite work for me. I really can't put it into words, but I'm positive that it has something to do with the stone strap, the high slit, or some combination of the two.

Jada Pinkett Smith in Carolina Herrerra

Jada always wears color beautifully. But something about this dress was just a tad too stiff for me. The fabric and the pleating at the skirt seemed more appropriate for upholstery than the petite figure of Mrs. Smith. But the boys look adorable as always. I just love the Smith family!

Just One Thing Wrong

Jennifer Hudson in Oscar de la Renta

Know that old saying about stopping in the mirror and taking one thing off before you leave the house? Somebody needs to tell the fabulous Ms. Hudson about that. The chocolate Oscar de la Renta gown is draped beautifully and works wonders for her figure. But that metallic jacket is just unnecessary. She really should have left that sucker hanging by her front door. Even if it is a little breezy in Hollywood tonight, she should have just braved the cold. But I am elated that she won the award.

Most Improved

Rinko Kikuchi in Chanel

Rinko Kikuchi finally got it right. The Chanel Couture dress she wore to the Globes got lambasted by the fashion critics. I thought the dress was beautiful, but inappropriate for the event. Tonight, Rinko showed everyone that she can pull it together for her big night out.

Best Use of Color

Nicole Kidman

Jessica Biel in Oscar de la Renta

Simply. Beautiful.

Best Dresses

Gwyneth Paltrow in Zac Posen

Queen Latifah in Carmen Marc Valvo

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive

Reese Witherspoon in Nina Ricci.

(Sidenote - Cameron, this is how you stick it to your ex after a breakup.)

And, finally . . .

Ms. New Beauty's Pick for Best of the Night

Penenlope Cruz in Versace

Perfection. The Hair. The Jewelry. The Makeup. Perfection!

Be glamorous, walk your own red carpet every day of your life, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Black Is Beautiful

Being a black woman in love with makeup can be frustrating sometimes. Finding the right foundations and concealers that match brown complexions and their undertones has gotten easier in recent years, but it can still be a tough process. Ms. New Beauty still finds herself a little frustrated from time to time. In the fall, when SK-II introduced its new battery operated, ion charged airbrush foundation, MNB's heart went all aflutter. It soon sank when she realized that the foundation only came in four colors, none of which would suit a woman of color. Right now, the beauty world is all abuzz about Lancome's new Proenza Pink lipstick, a pale matte pink that is sure to look ridiculous on anyone with some melanin in their skin. It was partly out of this frustration that Ms. New Beauty the blog was created. Once MNB came across a product that expertly matched her skin, it was her responsibility to tell all of her friends and as many other women as she could. Ms. New Beauty tries to spotlight those products that truly live up to the phrase "universally flattering" and those that make makeup a little easier for women of color. In honor of Black History Month, Ms. New Beauty honors two women who have made cosmetics easier for women of color while blazing their own paths. True New Beauties they are.


I love Iman. I do. There is no other word to describe it. I love her and consider her a friend in my head. Or less a friend, and moreso that really cool auntie or friend of your mother’s that always looked out for you and gave you good advice, but talked to you like an adult, even when you were only 12. Well, that’s what she is to me. In my mind, she’s Auntie Iman, the fabulous woman who taught me about makeup as a child and showed me how a woman can succeed on her own terms.

Born in Somalia to a diplomat father, Iman was discovered in Kenya in 1975 while she was studying at Nairobi University. Always the shrewd woman, Iman only agreed to model for famed photographer Peter Beard if he paid her school tuition and fees. She went on to incredible success in the fashion world, modeling for Yves Saint Laurent and working with photographers like Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon.

While most of the world knows Iman as only the beautiful supermodel, or maybe even as the wife of David Bowie, Iman is a shrewd business woman. Noticing the considerable gap in the cosmetics market for products targeted to women of color, she launched Iman Cosmetics in 1994. A full range brand, Iman Cosmetics offers makeup, skincare, and haircare products to meet the needs of Asian, Latina, African American and multicultural women. Iman has also published several books and spearheaded the “I AM AFRICAN” ad campaign to raise awareness and funds to fight the AIDS pandemic in Africa.

Lisa Price

I remember some years ago, hearing the buzz about this new, natural product line that was addicting black women left and right. Everyone raved about it, sang its praises, swore that nothing before had ever affected them so. You know I was intrigued. But I was especially pleased and surprised to find that the proprietor of these wonder goods was none other than a black woman. A sista like myself.

By now, the world knows about the once cult brand, Carol’s Daughter. But many of us do not realize that the woman behind Carol’s Daughter, who actually is Carol’s daughter, is Lisa Price. Starting her business in her kitchen by mixing her products at home, Price turned her passion for fragrance into a formidable beauty company. Beginning with a small boutique in Brooklyn, the quality and care put into every product soon made Carol’s Daughter a favorite among celebrity crowds. The brand was featured on The Today Show, The View, and the guaranteed to make any small business owner into an industry behemoth, The Oprah Winfrey Show. The brand soon attracted celebrity investors, and eventual spokesmodels, Mary J. Blige and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Carol’s Daughter now offers over 300 unique products and is carried in select Sephora stores. The line continues to have legions of devoted women as customers. Lisa Price has traced her hard work and determination on the road to success in her new book – “Success Never Smelled So Sweet: How I Followed My Nose and Found My Passion.”

Make the whole world beautiful, and remember those who came before you, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

BLACK is the New Black

February is one of Ms. New Beauty’s favorite months. She’s already celebrated her 6 year anniversary with her wonderful boyfriend with a trip to the Caribbean. She brought in her birthday with an all out party that people are still talking about. And, even though she was apart from her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, she did get lost in love when he sent her a dozen of her favorite flower, Lily Stargazers. MNB has also recognized each of these events with a corresponding post here on Ms. New Beauty. But, February wouldn’t be complete if MNB did not recognize one of the most significant and important aspects of February – that it is in fact Black History Month. We got the shortest month of the year, but we make the most of it. We celebrate our trailblazers, our often overlooked contributions to society, and the pride and history of our people. In honor of Black History Month, Ms. New Beauty is profiling two Black people who made their marks in the fashion world but don't get the recognition they deserve.

Ann Lowe

When you think of Blacks in fashion, the first people to come to mind are probably the first of the black supermodels – Naomi, Tyra, and Iman – or the icon and arbiter of style, Andre Leon Talley. Maybe if you’re a new school fabulous fashionista, you’d think of Tracy Reese, Alek Wek, or Liya Kebede. But, I’m sure very few people know the name Ann Lowe, which is why she’s the first person in my profile on blacks who’ve made history in fashion and beauty.

Born in Alabama in 1898, the granddaughter of a former slave, Ann Lowe was an African American fashion designer. Married by 14, she enrolled in fashion school in New York City at 17. Ms. Lowe began her career working on commission at a boutique and eventually became a darling designer of the rich and famous, designing clothes for society families like the du Ponts and the Lodges. She designed the dress that Olivia de Haviland wore to accept the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal in “To Each His Own.” Most notably, Ms. Lowe designed the ivory silk dress that Jacqueline Bouvier wore to her wedding to John F. Kennedy in 1953. She continued to design through the 1960s for Madeline Couture and briefly for her own line, Ann Lowe Originals. Ms. Lowe died in 1981, but her contributions to fashion and the doors she opened for future generations are remembered today.

Stephen Burrows

I’ve said before that my sense of style is “70s by day and 40s by night.” But I think that I’m 70s by night too. The clothes, colors and shapes of the 70s really speak to my soul. I’ve never been a monochrome, black on black girl; I look best in orange and yellow. And, Stephen Burrows’ designs just make me swoon. The chiffon, the color, the cut, the draping. These are not wallflower clothes. His designs just proclaim look at me. And, I think I deserve to be looked at. How fabulous would I look in this?!?!

A New Jersey native, Stephen Burrows graduated from FIT in 1966. He quickly became the designer for the club crowd, partying with Andy Warhol and Cher at Studio 54. Burrows’ designs were known for expertly draped and gathered chiffon, bright colors and exaggerated stitches, all embodying the vibrancy of the disco era. After successfully selling his clothes through trendy boutiques, venerable retailer Henri Bendel opened an atelier just for Burrows in the basement of their store called “Stephen Burrows World.” After focusing his work on theatrical costuming following the disco era, Burrows returned to fashion in 2002 with a new showroom at Bendel’s, shows during Fashion Week, and a consumer friendly line for Home Shopping Network.

Let's learn and respect the history ladies, and remember that Black is always in fashion, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tools of the Trade

Ms. New Beauty is a professional student. She has always been in school, working on some kind of degree or diploma. There has never been a time when she hasn't been a student. There's also never been a time when MNB wasn't working with a student's budget. Every month of her life involves figuring which bills get paid from which account, every purchase requires the forethought of which credit will get pulled from her wallet, her personal card or the one Mr. New Beauty (aka Daddy) pays the bill for. Ms. New Beauty has gotten quite adept at fitting life necessaries- weekly hair appointments, new mascaras, and the occasional facial - into her balance sheet. But, these things get purchased often at the expense of other items. Particularly, MNB saves money when it comes to the tools she uses to apply the cosmetics she devotes valuable room in the budget to. And thus we have the latest installation of Cheap & Chic - The Beauty Tools Edition.

Eyelash Curler

Talika Heated Eyelash Curler, $34
Shu Uemura, $18

For the ultimate curl in your lashes, heated lash curlers give the best results. However, the Shu Uemura eye lash curler is considered the granddaddy of lash curlers and is almost half the cost. Plus, if you really need the heat to give your lashes a bump, blast the metal curler with your blow dryer for a few seconds.

Powder Brush

Kevyn Aucoin Large Blush & Powder Brush, $65
Sonia Kashuk Tools Contoured Powder Brush, $20

I've written about the wonders of the Kevyn Aucoin Blush Brush before. A large fluffy brush is the key to blending bright blush and not looking like a clown. But, you don't have to pay a lot for one. Sonia Kashuk's brushes are high quality without the high price.

Foundation Brush

Lancome Foundation Brush #2, $32
E.L.F. Foundation Brush, $1

Flat foundation brushes are great for applying and blending liquid and stick foundations. Better than sponges because the bristles don't absorb all your expensive foundation. Both brushes will keep your skin looking flawless, but the E.L.F. will leave you with enough cash to buy some foundation to use it with.

Ceramic Flat Iron

T3 Tourmaline Professional Ionic Wet or Dry Iron, $200
Farouk CHI Ceramic Flat Iron, $81.99

Ceramic flat irons exploded onto the hair scene a few years ago and are now part of the regular arsenal of many New Beauties. The ceramic plates on the iron distribute heat more easily and allow you to straighten and smooth your hair with one tool with less heat damage. The tourmaline on the T3 iron allows it to dry and straighten your hair at the same time, but the CHI is the original ceramic iron and I have yet to meet a woman who has used it without falling completely in love it.

Spend your money on great products, but save on the tools you'll use to put them on, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Get Glowin

Ms. New Beauty is a loyal girl. She sticks by her friends and family no matter what. She's even loyal to parking facilities, as she has a favorite parking lot at every mall she frequents. MNB has worn Joe's Jean's in the Honey fit almost exclusively since discovering them three years ago. She has not let another stylist in Boston touch her head since discovering and falling in love with her beloved Will. But most of all, Ms. New Beauty sticks by her beauty products. Once she finds a product she loves, she uses it, and it alone. For years, MNB has been using only one brand and shade of blush to give her a natural, flushed look. She's recommended it to everyone who has asked and carries it with her every time she leaves town. But, Ms. New Beauty is ashamed to admit, she's cheating. Yes, she's having an affair with another blush that gives that same beautiful flush. Ladies, meet Ms. New Beauty's lover.

Smashbox O-GLOW

This is the blush that is making me cheat on my baby. I feel so dirty, but I love it all the same. Smashbox O-GLOW has the same satiny smooth texture as the brand's famed Photo Finish Foundation Primer. It goes on smooth and feels heavenly on your cheeks. But the texture is not what makes this blush so special. It's the technology that goes into it.

O-GLOW is completely clear in the tube. The second it touches your skin, it reacts with your body's chemistry and matches the shade of your cheeks when you blush naturally. That means that this is one of the few products that is truly universally flattering because it adjusts itself to each different person. (Sidenote - The term "universally flattering" gets thrown around way too loosely nowadays and people often fail to account for women of color in using that term. I actually read a post where someone said that the new Lancome Proenza Pink will look good on everyone. Tell me what kind of fool I would look like wearing this.) Back to the point, you can be sure that O-GLOW will look good on you because it merely replicates your own natural flush. And, the color lasts for hours with no problem. Paired with clear mascara and a perfectly matched concealer, this product is perfect for those days when you look great and can still tell people "I'm not wearing makeup."

$26, available only at Sephora.

Get your glow on, and make them think you're born with it, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

School Is Back In Session

Like most stylish women, Ms. New Beauty loves fashion week. She loves admiring the creativity and craftsmanship of the new collections, spotting the newest trends before they even reach trend status, and planning her wardrobe a full six months ahead. But, she also really loves seeing what the new take on beauty is going to be. Dedicated bloggers, who are lucky enough to get tent passes, keep MNB abreast of what's going on above the neck on the runway. And, fabulous makeup artists like Pat McGrath give her step by step tutorials on how to create the latest looks. Check out Pat's latest video below as she recreates the runway beauty trends. Life can't get any better.

Watch, and learn, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Single Sexy & Free

Television, magazines, radio, and just life will make you think that Valentine's Day is rough if you are currently unattached. Well, Ms. New Beauty believes that's all BS. V-Day is a time to show your love, and who's more deserving of all your love and affection than yourself??? Nobody, that's who. MNB is loving herself with all her heart right now. She never has more fun than during the times when she is completely head over heels, butt crazy in love with herself. And when's she loving herself, Ms. New Beauty loves to spend time with other women who love themselves just as much. So she's found the best products to feel beautiful and sexy night out with the girls.

Farouk Biosilk Silk Therapy

It's a universal truth that we are all attracted to things that glitter and sparkle. Diamonds aren't just a girl's best friend. Everybody loves them. Even if you didn't get a sparkly little bauble today, there's no reason that you still can't have something shiny and sparkling in your life. Make it your hair. Just a few drops of Biosilk will give your hair a 100 watt shine, the stuff that Pantene commercials are made of. Completely free of alcohol, Biosilk smoothes out your hair's cuticle, protects it from heat treatments and helps repair split ends. I have not been without a small bottle of this stuff since I graduated high school. And my hair is always so shiny that you can almost see yourself in it. Smooth in, and shine on.

Farouk is technically a salon product, but I have never bought it from there. In almost any drug store or Target, you can find it in the "Salon Products" section of the haircare aisle. $12.49, available at

Urban Decay Cocktail Collection Flavored Body Powder

Add just the slightest hint of shimmer to the skin you're showing with this big fluffy brush filled with sparkling powder. Swipe this across your decollete, down your arms, and right in between your cleavage to give yourself a little oomph. And, because no night out with the girls is complete without gossiping over the appropriate libations, these powders come in delicious cocktail flavored scents. The Pina Colada is a white shimmer powder perfect for very fair complexions. Mai Tai is golden and looks great on women of color and those with warm undertones. And the Cosmopolitan is a pretty pink that works well on women with medium complexions and cool undertones.

$30, available at Sephora.

Shu Uemura Flare Eyelashes

I know it's supposed to be a night out with the girls. But that doesn't mean you can't get all dolled up just for yourself. Try full on movie star glam eyes tonight. Line upper and lower lashes with black eyeliner and smudge. And, don't forget to complete the look with false eyelashes. Glue three or four of these individual false lashes along the outer corner of your lash line. Just this subtle touch will give you the fullness of falsies but still keep your lashes looking naturally full and lush. Perfect for batting your eyes demurely and giving just the hint that you might be interested.

$15, available at

Fresh Rose Face Mask

Don't wait for a man to send you flowers. Pull a Cher Horowitz and send them to yourself. Or use this luxurious face mask to clean and tighten your skin. Packed with crushed rose petals, this mask smells amazing and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. Use this after your night out to get the makeup and public grime off your face. Plus the tightening agents will make sure that you wake up looking fresh and fabulous, just in case you and the girls knock back one too many.

$55, available at

Be your own true love, but keep it fabulous for a single girls' night out, just don't forget Ms. New Beauty told you!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In The Mood For Love

February is one of Ms. New Beauty's favorite month's. Only in February does she get to celebrated her anniversary, her birthday, the history of her people, and love all at once. She's already celebrated the first three, but unfortunately, she'll be on her own with the last one. That's right, MNB will be all alone on Valentine's Day. Such is the life of a woman in a long distance relationship. But, she will be alright. Instead of wallowing in her loneliness at home, she's going on a date with some of the loves of her life - her girlfriends. They're going to eat fattening desserts, watching girly movies, and celebrate one of the greatest loves of all, true friendship. But for you ladies that will be celebrating the day of love with a significant other, MNB has found some of the best Valentine's date perfect products.

100% Pure Chocolate Mocha Body Scrub

What Valentine's beauty post could be complete without a mention of chocolate? Not this one. Soften up your body and eliminate any dry patches (dead skin is so not sexy) before the big day with this decadent body scrub. This rich scrub is made with Belgian dark chocolate, a rich source of antioxidants, cocoa butter and moisturizing grapeseed oil. A touch of Hawaiian Kona coffee increases circulation and caffeine is known to tighten any "loose" spots. Soften up and get sexy for your man. And enjoy this chocolate guilt-free because it will not end up on your hips in the morning.

$18, available at Bath & Body Works.

Kitty Lixx Lava Lotion Body Candle Massage Oil

Most adult product lines offer very few items that wouldn't embarass you in front of your mother if you accidentally forgot to put them away. But, Kitty Lixx has struck gold in this ingenious candle. It's perfect for a romantic evening at home. Burn the candle for great mood lighting and to scent your room. And, then blow out the flame and use the melted wax as a massage oil. Be forewarned, just a little of the melted wax goes a long way so use sparingly. Don't ask me how I now.

This candle comes in three scents, Vanilla, Strawberry and Jasmine, for $17.99. Available at (Note - the Kitty Lixx website is probaby not safe for work)

Lush Joy of Jelly Shower Jelly

Lush is one of the most innovative cosmetic companies around. And, I have been head over heels in love with their shower jellies since I first stepped foot into their store. These jellies are all natural and made by hand. The Joy of Jelly is their sexiest scent, combining notes of musky jasmine, ylang ylang, rose, and tiger lilly. But the best part isn't the scent, it's how you use it. Instead of just squeezing onto a loofah (how boring), you rub a hunk of the jelly all over your body to produce a fragrant and luscious lather. This will make for tons of fun in a shower for two. Get your man dirty and then clean him up. And let him return the favor.

$5.45 for a 3.5 oz hunk of jelly, available at

Healing Garden zzzTherapy Pillow Spray

Before you lay yourself down to "sleep," make your bed more welcoming with this pillow spray. Spray in the air above your bed and let the light scent of vanilla bean, chamomile, and orange blossom fall into your linens. Don't let the name fool you, this scent is perfect for creating a very awake sensual mood in your bedroom. And, this is just one product from a great line. The Healing Garden is one of the best drugstore brands available. Their body splashes and sprays are strong enough to last all day and use fragrance notes that smell just as good as expensive perfumes.

$6.99, available at drug stores.

This post has been for those couple perfect products. But single New Beauties need not worry, a special Valentine's Day post just for the unattached is forthcoming.

Share the love ladies, and look fabulous while doing it, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Lemme Upgrade You

Ms. New Beauty is essentially, as the last word of the title suggests, a beauty blog. MNB generally keeps her subject matter focused on beauty products and cosmetics, although she does take an occasional foray into fashion and lifestyle topics with a few personal anecdotes to pepper the discussion. Well, today, MNB is veering far off her normal course with a purely celeb focused post. She normally tries to tie such diversions to her main beauty purpose, but today she really just can't. Trying to give a makeup tip would really just take away from the wonder that is the incredible upgrade two women have experienced. Sure, MNB could pick out a nice nude lip color for her readers, but she doesn't even want you to focus on the makeup. She wants you to look at the whole looks, the style transformations of these two beautiful women. How they have gone from looking haggard and well, just rough, to looking truly fabulous lately. Both deserving of a hearty round of applause, this post gives us two new additions to the MNB New Beauties category.

Whitney Houston

I have just two words for Miss Whitney - Welcome Back!!!!!


As a hometown Philly girl, I've always felt like E-v-e has been sleeping on so much potential. I think someone has finally tapped her on her shoulder and told her that she can look really good without doing too much. And, even though I have not and will never be a fan of the "ta-ta tattoo," even the paw prints don't bother me so much here. In a funny way, something about them actually works. Well done Eve.

Let these two be proof that there is a New Beauty inside all of us, upgrade yourself if the feeling strikes, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Ms. New Beauty is finally getting a chance to recover from a ridiculously busy week. Last week, after returning from a much needed vacation, MNB couldn't even unpack her bags before she was busy planning her birthday party. Since she was turning 24, MNB decided that a gold "24K" theme was only appropriate for such a fete. The invite was done and she encouraged all her guests to wear gold to the party. The only problem? She couldn't find a smashing gold outfit to wear herself. Spending hours scouring malls, outlets, and the best online sites, MNB had come up empty handed, with only one day left before the party. She had no other choice but to head to Boston's premiere destination for chic boutiques and cool stores - Newbury Street. Under normal circumstances, shopping on Newbury is nothing but pleasant. But when the temperature drops to 20 degrees, with a windchill of negative 200, outdoor shopping is on MNB's list of "favorite things to do" right behind cleaning the toilet and having a root canal without anesthesia. But, in the name of fashion, she sucked it up and pounded the pavement in search of the ensemble for her birthday bash.

Popping in and out of boutiques and chain stores for almost an hour, MNB had come up with very little. She bought a sequined top that really wasn't her style as a backup. It was her safety shirt in case she didn't find anything better. Convinced that gold sequins were the best she was going to find, MNB was already figuring out how to make the top acceptable for her party when she realized that she was right across the street from Betsey Johnson, the boutique, not the woman. Knowing that BJ always makes the cutest little party dresses, MNB headed inside with a glimmer of hope that she would find a party perfect dress. And she did! Sitting on the last rack, all the way in the back of the store, was the most perfectly draped, expertly ruched, gold party dress that MNB has ever seen. A quick trip to the dressing room revealed that the dress hit Ms. New Beauty in all the right spots. She pulled out her plastic, grabbed her bags, and headed down the street on cloud 9, elated that she found a dress for her party. MNB was taking long Seabiscuit strides down the street with her smile beaming. The whole street knew that Ms. New Beauty was a Crest Kid. And as with any great fashion moment, a great beauty find was right behind.

Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Here's a quick personal confession - I lotion my hands, almost compulsively. I have to, I have no choice. Ever since winter descended upon this city almost overnight, bringing with it bitterly cold and desert dry air, my hands have been ridiculously dry. The Dove hand cream that works wonders in normal conditions is no match for this harsh winter. I've tried a bunch of different hand creams lately, but they all seem to be plagued with one of two problems. They are either (1) too watery and my hands get ashy again within minutes or (2) too greasy and make opening door knobs far too much of a challenge. But, Kiehl's Ultimate Hand Salve has become my salvation and rescued me from my dry skin misery.

This thick hand cream moisturizes and protects my hands all day without the slightest trace of greasiness. Designed to give "glove-like" protection for those doing heavy industrial work, this cream is more than capable of keeping my little fingers from being ashy during my daily activities, like typing on my laptop or digging in my purse for my cell phone. My hands have never been softer and there is no ash in sight.

$12.50 for a small tube, available at and where ever Kiehl's products are sold.

Keep those hands moisturized, and stop for great beauty detours on your fashion journeys, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

P.S. - And, just in case you want to see the dress that I spent so much time looking for, here it is. I was having a great time in this shot!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Beach & Body Works

Ms. New Beauty is finally back from her much needed vacation. She spent the past week in Dominican Republic laying on the beach and playing in the ocean with her boyfriend. She was so relaxed she could barely drag herself from her chaise to grab pina coladas from the beach bar, but somehow she managed. Just before leaving for her vacation, Ms. New Beauty rediscovered the wonders of an American shopping mall staple - Bath & Body Works. Having sworn off the store years ago because of all of those sickeningly sweet smelling lotions and shower gels, MNB has gotten her beauty fixes from so many other places that she had completely forgotten about B&BW. Desperate for a good sunscreen, MNB just happened to pop into the store before her trip to discover what the rest of the world has apparently known for a while, Bath & Body Works has gotten a serious upgrade. A "Beyonce singing about Cartier Tie Clips" worthy upgrade. Both before and after her trip, MNB was surprised by the quality and level of products being offered at Bath & Body Works and is profiling two of her most satisfying recent purchases in this post.

Peter Thomas Roth Oil Free Sunblock SPF 30

I know I've blogged, lectured, ranted and raved about the importance of sunscreen before. I have had a few favorite sunscreens for years, so I haven't really been trying any new ones. But, two days before our trip, I was looking for a spray sunscreen for my body and came across this one.

Peter Thomas Roth Oil Free SPF 30 is the lightest sunscreen lotion that I've ever used on my face. Despite claiming to be oil free, a lot of other sunscreens still leave my face looking greasier than a bucket of the Colonel's Extra Crispy. But this one is so light. I slathered it all over my face, neck, and decollete (and eventually my whole body) during our whole trip and I never once got greasy. It kept my skin protected and my forehead shine free. Now, I did still get darker after all those hours on the beach under the Dominican sun, but I'm not complaining because a sista was pasty before she left. I've read that any change in skin color, i.e. getting a tan, is a sign of sun damage, but I'm not quite sure if that holds true even when using sunscreen and reapplying religiously. But, that is a question for The Beauty Brains.

This is not listed on the B&BW website but is available in stores and at other retailers for $26.

Breathe Delight Deep Nourishment Body Cream

It was so warm and balmy in DR that I barely needed any lotion for the whole trip. Just a quick dollop on my hands and feet did the trick and my skin never felt dry. I was in for quite a rude awakening as soon as we got back. I stepped off the plane in Atlanta and the dry air hit me like a slug to the chest. My whole body instantly felt itchy and dry, which caused as "ashaphobe" like me to almost have a mental breakdown.

While we were waiting for our connecting flight, I dashed off to the B&BW in Terminal B and bought a big jar of this heavenly body cream. Breathe Delight Deep Nourishment Body Cream is nice and thick, just what my dry skin needed. As soon as I finished paying for it, I went straight to the ladies room and slathered this cream all over my legs, back, shoulders, and arms. I felt instanly refreshed.

Available at Bath & Body Works for $16.50.

Stay protected and hydrated ladies, find treasures sitting in a mall near you, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

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